On Wednesday night I benefitted from the generosity of another. A friend invited me to see the Dodgers and Cubs play in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series. The Cubs’ offense exploded for 10 runs and I was able to celebrate their victory with all of the other Cubs fans at Dodger Stadium.
And there were a lot of Cubs fans at Dodger Stadium.
Being a fan of a team is a weird thing. I’m a Cubs fan because I was born in Chicago. My family moved back to California when I was three, so I don’t remember anything about actually living in Chicago. Growing up, though, I knew that I was born in Chicago and that was enough for me to attach my emotional happiness and stability to a baseball team.
When the Cubs lost on Tuesday night I was despondent. The Cubs had been shutout two games in a row and I thought that the sun would never rise again. However, on Wednesday night I felt like the disciples on Sunday; everything was right in the world and I had thousands of others Cubs fans with me to celebrate.
I don’t really enjoy spending time with strangers, but on Wednesday night I was high fiving and chatting up other Cubs fans. It’s so weird that we were all strangers, but something as arbitrary as a baseball team brought us together.
More than anything, sports highlight our desire for community. We all want to belong. Ideally we find that sense of security and belonging in our families, but it’s also healthy to find it outside the home. We find community with friends, at school at church and with random strangers wearing the same logos and colors at sporting events.
As nerds we tend to shy away from community, but that’s counter to how God created us. We may want to sit at home playing video games and drinking Mt. Dew, but that’s not how we’re wired. I’ve found great community with my family, my church and at Dodger Stadium. It definitely takes intention to find community and it could be a scary step, but it’s always worth it.
Han came back.
Tony Stark joined a team.
Hermione made some friends.
Everyone needs to belong. We can do our part by being welcoming and putting ourselves in positions to be welcomed.
Where do you belong?